June in the Texas Panhandle means that it is time for all the farmers to get to getting and start planting milo. This year was definitely an interesting one with all the rain that we have been receiving. The fields were becoming what farmers call wooly. Calling a field wooly means there is a lot of unwanted vegetation, which can cause many problems. Issues such as vegetation regrowing after plowing and the ground becoming too hard or entangled with roots to plow can arise. However, since the invention of the airplane, the solution to this problem is actually quite simple.
Dust cropping has been around since the 1950s and has been an asset to the farmers in the plains ever since. The process involves putting booms on an airplane, much like the ones you would see on a sprayer tractor, and flying over the fields spraying weeds. This was first tried post-WW2 and was proven to be quite successful. In the 1950s, the first airplanes were designed with the sole purpose of dust cropping. It was quite a sight to behold as someone who has never seen this process up and personal. These pilots need to have some very serious skills to perform the task. They fly low to the ground avoiding highline pools and tall buildings. They perform a very tight turn at the end of the field and make off on their next pass. It makes sense that many of the first dust croppers were WW2 air force veterans.
After the dust croppers finish their tasks, the weed and unwanted vegetation in the fields will die. The herbicide used on the plants disintegrates as they go through their half-lives. The dead plant material is then tilled into the field when the plows make their passes. The dead plant material ends up being a source of nutrition and compost of sorts for the crops planted in the field.
Sam and I worked as a team knocking out the fields one at a time. First, we started by planting hay. Then after we moved on to planting milo, a grain crop. In order to plant the fields as efficiently as possible, we both work at the same time in different tractors. Sam goes first in his plow, which is much bigger than the planter I was working on. This enables Sam to get ahead of me even though he is slower than I am in his tractor. Planting this way also has a considerable advantage in getting the plant seeds to sprout. Remember that we had quite a bit of rain this summer (you can read the previous newsletter to hear about the rains), enabling us to set up perfect timing for our seedlings. We can wait for the ground to become dry enough to avoid mud yet wet enough to get our plant out of the ground. Sam goes right before me in the plow, so the seed will get in the ground before the soil dries out.
There is always a large amount of work that goes into planting each year, not only in the fields and planting but also working on the tractors. We spent a reasonable amount of time before planting, preparing, and fixing the tractors, getting them ready to do the work. Before I ever started working on the ranch, I never fully realized how much work farmers do on their tractors. Tractors take a beating every time they perform their function. As a result, they are breaking down quite often. The cost of having a mechanic out or taking the machine in is enormous. As a result, most farmers work on their machines themselves. Even already, I have learned so much about fixing these machines because it is simply something you must do as a farmer.
As I’m writing this to you, reader, the good news is that I can confirm that we have seed sprouts coming out of the ground. This is great news, and with a little bit of rain this summer, we will have plenty of food to feed our herd. Both the milo and the hay will go towards keeping our herd happy. I can also confirm that the wheat we planted last fall is being harvested with a pretty good yield.
Happy Independence, America! This 4th is a time to remember all that we have as Americans. It is a time to remember that freedom is not free. At TriTails, we give thanks to our military and first responders. We offer all military and first responders a 20% off discount code as thanks for your sacrifice.
This is also a time to remember that, as an American, you have a right to eat beef. We are blessed as ranchers with amazing lands to raise a herd on. We have the skills and expertise to offer some of the best beef in the world. As Americans, no government shall infringe on the right for you to eat beef and for us to grow beef. It is amazing to hear stories worldwide in places like New Zealand and Ireland, where they consider destroying large cattle herds. Monstrous globalist countries are precisely why we need to celebrate our freedom more than ever. Let us take this opportunity to thank you for supporting us and God for blessing us in this great country. We are free to grow cattle and make delicious beef. God Bless America!